SND participants sketch ideas for motion graphics.
Participants in Friday’s hands-on session sketch through ideas for motion graphics. (Photo by Kenney Marlatt)


Motion graphics are booming. They are used everywhere, from the entertainment industry to the fields of healthcare and news. On the final day of SND, Belinda Ivey, co-founder of KarBel Multimedia, and Prof. Terence Oliver, a motion graphics producer and professor at the University of North Carolina, shared their experience after years of exploring the world of motion graphics.

The kickoff motion graphic for Ivey’s and Oliver’s presentation.


Ivey started the presentation by emphasizing the popularity of the medium. According to eMarketer, the average U.S. adult spends 64 minutes watching digital video every day. This is especially true of millennials, as 90 percent of them watch videos online daily.

Oliver said that the best motion graphics videos use tastefully applied animations to make information more visually appealing or comprehensible. Motion graphics create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with whatever works best for the content, such as audio, hand-drawing,  illustrations or 360° video.

They showed several examples of motion graphics video: a piece that The New York Times produced about making a hit record that featured Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo, a 360-degree video of Michelle Obama by The Verge, and a retracing of US Airways Flight 1549 landing in the Hudson created for the film “Sully.”

Ivey also shared that the credits for the 2010 film, “The Other Guys,” inspired her to get into the field. Watching the film with her husband and seeing its simple motion graphics and illustrations of statistics, she said, “Our jaws dropped.” Ivey began to bring her information graphics design skills to creating engaging motion digital content, learning Adobe After Effects via Youtube or

During the hands-on session, participants worked in groups to craft storyboards based on a real client project. Using some rocket animation, participants had to illustrate a service that helps customers turn complex ideas into a polished story that truly flies.

Langston Taylor, a senior from UNC who has worked closely with Oliver, shared his experiences working on motion graphics with his group members. “Actually, After Effects is very much like Illustrator, ” he said, “but you are going to put everything in different layers.” Taylor used to work with Adobe Flash, but he said he prefers After Effects because no ActionScript — an object-oriented programming language —is involved, and the creative process gets much easier.

UNC student Langston Taylor at SNDCLT
UNC student Langston Taylor talks motion graphics with his fellow attendees during Friday’s hands-on session. (Photo by Yee Ng)